Tribunal adjourns 44 insurance companies’ case against FIRS to March 2


The Tax Appeal Tribunal on Wednesday adjourned to March 2 for the 44 insurance companies and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to file their written addresses.
The acting chairman of the tribunal, Mr Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), adjourned
the appeal after FIRS closed its case. Counsel to FIRS, Bolanle Oniyangi, had at Wednesday’s hearing called one witness, Ahmed Haruna, Manager Tax in FIRS.
Haruna was not cross-examined by counsel to the insurance companies, Mr Abimbola Kayode, who held Prof. Taiwo Osipitan’s (SAN) brief.

Oniyangi, therefore, closed her case and applied for a date to present
their written addresses. The 44 companies had dragged the FIRS to the tribunal to seek refund
of N1.1 billion excess stamp duties.

They alleged that they were made to pay the excess stamp duties on their respective statements of increase in their share capitals. They urged the tribunal to direct FIRS to pay them the excess stamp
duties and compound interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum from January 2003 until date of judgment.

The plaintiffs also urged the tribunal to order FIRS to pay compounded interest of 10 percent from the date of judgment until all excess were refunded.
Meanwhile, the FIRS told the court that its action was lawful and in accordance with Section 21, CAP 8 of the Stamp Duties Act.
The FIRS said that the allegations by the companies were incorrect, adding that the plaintiffs suit was time barred because it had exceeded the 21 days prescribed by law for them to appeal.
FIRS, therefore, urged the tribunal to strike out the appeal for lack of merit. (NAN)

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